Dancing despite other demands


Katie Hardie

For me, dance has always been a priority. But this year, the hours of homework have forced me to put it on the back burner.

In the beginning of dance class we have basic training and a time for conditioning. Since school has started, I’ve had to skip it and do homework instead. Basic training is the main conditioning I get from dance. It consists of 30 minutes of routines at the bar, and then an hour and a half of combinations, acrobatics, jumps and turns on the floor.

When I do not participate, I am not as prepared for the dances we practice for the second half of class. Dances we perform can call for a lot of skill.

Sometimes they are quick paced, having us move and jump constantly, sometimes they are slow, but call for a lot of flexible moves where we have to hold a positions for a long amount of time.

Traditional Chinese dance is as intense as it is skillful, so when I miss out on the beginning half of class, which should warm me up and prepare me for the intensity, I don’t deliver. I become stiffer, weaker and less a part of practice.

In the beginning of the year, the urgency of getting my work done topped everything else in my life outside of school. Also, since basic training takes so much of my energy anyway, I welcomed the excuse of not having to do it. But soon, I realized I shouldn’t think that.

Health and physical upkeep are just as important as maintaining grades. Having an outlet to let steam off and keep my mind clear is crucial to staying mindful.

It’s still hard tabling the calls of homework on the weekends, but I have learned to suppress them long enough to do what I need to do to stay healthy. Dance is such an important part of my life, so I cannot take that for granted.

Dance gives me discipline, exercise, friends and a community. Life will always be stressful, but that does not mean I should have to give up what matters to me.